Q. I’ve been married to a man I dearly love. The years have not been easy and we have both made terrible choices. Right after our second child was born, our oldest was diagnosed with cancer. My husband cared for the baby while I stayed at the hospital with our sick child and came home on the weekends. This took its toll on our marriage, my husband got angry with God, and ended up having an affair. Long story – but I found out, reacted poorly, make some very bad choices in friends, got involved with drugs and made a bad situation worse.
Then I found out I was pregnant again, I stopped the drugs, got my act together only to find out my husband had been sleeping with one of my “friends”. That’s over with and he’s back home. I am now expecting again. He’s been faithful to me for over a year, but he’s disengaged from me and the kids. He’s constantly tired and does not desire to be with me or spend time with our children.
I feel scared of what this is doing to me. I don’t want to be ill and angry all the time. I need my husband to be there for me, especially now. What should I do?
Answer: There are no simple answers to your situation but let me give you a few things to think about and try.
It sounds as if your husband and you have both made poor choices when you're been under stress. It will be tempting to repeat old patterns. Don't let yourself go there. In spite of where he is going right now you need to remain focused on the Lord and the help he wants to give you. I'd highly recommend you read my book, How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong and I have put one in the mail to you.
Your husband may be depressed or just burnt out caring for 3 children with a 4th on the way. He may feel neglected with not enough husband/wife time is available to him, thus making him vulnerable to the attentions of other women. This doesn't excuse his behavior, but you may need to be intentional about just trying to engage him as a husband.
Right now, don't focus on how he isn't meeting your or the children's needs, but how you can affirm him and meet his needs. That may feel unfair or exhausting to you right now considering what you've been through, but right now your choices are critical and how you respond to his apathy and indifference will either draw him toward you and the family, or push him further away.
Get yourself some better girlfriends. Your friend from the past was no friend; she was an enemy in disguise. I hope you're involved in a church and have a supportive network of godly women who will help you be the kind of wife and mom you want to. You may also need to get yourself some counseling to ward off your own depression
Right now you need to stay healthy, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. You need support. Avail yourself of the church and women’s bible studies to find strong, mature women who can mentor you.
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This post was originally published on ChristianCounseling.com. Working for over 30 years with couples attempting to recover from serious marital sin, I have often heard one of them say, “Why can’t you just forgive and forget?” or “You’re holding onto the past? Can’t we start with a clean slate?” or, “God says that we’re to…
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